AAS 202nd Meeting, May 2003
Session 48 Gamma-Ray Bursts in the Swift Era
Topical Oral, Wednesday, May 28, 2003, 2:30-4:00 and 4:15-6:00pm, 205/206

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[48.02] The Swift Gamma-ray Burst Mission

N. Gehrels (NASA/GSFC), Swift Team

Swift is a NASA gamma-ray burst MIDEX mission that is in development for launch in December 2003. It is a multiwavelength transient observatory for GRB astronomy. The goals of the mission are to determine the origin of GRBs and their afterglows and use bursts to probe the early Universe. A wide-field gamma-ray camera will detect more than a hundred GRBs per year to 5 times fainter than BATSE. Sensitive narrow-field X-ray and UV/optical telescopes will be pointed at the burst location in 20 to 70 sec by an autonomously controlled "swift" spacecraft. For each burst, arcsec positions will be determined and optical/UV/X-ray/gamma-ray spectrophotometry performed. Measurements of redshift will be made for many of the bursts. The instrumentation is a combination of superb existing flight-spare hardware and design from XMM and Spectrum-X/JET-X contributed by collaborators in the UK and Italy and development of a coded-aperture camera with a large-area (~0.5 square meter) CdZnTe detector array. The hardware is currently in final stages of fabrication and initial stages of integration and test. Key components of the mission are vigorous follow-up and outreach programs to engage the astronomical community and public in Swift.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #3
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.